It was a big week for Logan Mansion owner Lisa Brutto last week. She was presented the Louisiana Travel Association Spirit Award for Humanitarian efforts in 2020 by Shreveport Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau President/CEO Stacy Brown and SBCTB Vice President of Sales and Service David Bradley. The DDA nominated Brutto to recognize her remarkable service and caring during a very difficult year.
For those of you not familiar with the Logan Mansion, it is one of the few remaining historic mansions downtown. Brutto and her son Joseph currently run the 1897-built mansion as a popular Airbnb. She purchased the mansion in June of 2019 with a goal of having a wonderful guest venue and creating spectacular events that would bring visitors to town for several night stays. These professionally executed events have included two Halloween Monster Balls that have brought in national- caliber performers, A Winter Tale Victorian holiday tour, British-inspired Cream Teas and Lunches on the Lawn.
Lisa has been a champion of the local tourism industry and is generous in sharing customers by directing guests to other B and B’s and boutique hotels in Shreveport when she is booked up. She also regularly refers guests to local retail businesses and restaurants. She purchases locally-produced soaps, lotions and candles for her rooms with information for guests on where to buy, and provides concierge service to encourage patronage of local eateries and nightspots.
Her humanitarian outreach has been much more. Here is some of the information included in the DDA’s nomination:
- Lisa was a champion during the darkest days of COVID. When people stopped traveling, she turned her attention to other ways that she could help the community as a whole. When Caddo Parish Schools sent children home and closed their lunchrooms because of fear of Covid, there was real concern that a number of children getting reduced-price meals and other assistance from the schools might go hungry. Lisa, her son Joseph and an employee purchased and formed partnerships to get food for lunches which they provided free for a period of several weeks to children in nearby lower- income neighborhoods.
- When businesses downtown were struggling in the early days of the pandemic to find hand sanitizer (it was all but unavailable for any price), Lisa used her business and personal connections to source both small bottles and sanitizer. As the supplies arrived, she offered the sanitizer to any businesses that needed them. She asked for no payment, stating that she realized everyone was struggling to make it through the tough times. Several of downtown’s restaurants and other businesses trying to stay open were thrilled to receive this much-needed gift.
- To give people something positive to do during the pandemic she sourced small metal tubes and created Time Capsules so that persons could occupy themselves with a fun family activity, and then ‘bury’ the time capsule for opening some years later.
- Hearing how much ‘gig workers’, especially musicians, were struggling during the pandemic, she created a ‘Porch Concert’ in which people could pay $10 to come sit in the yard of the Logan Mansion and listen to live music and eat a prepared lunch. All proceeds from the porch concert plus more from her pocket, went to the musicians. They were also able to broadcast live via Facebook for more publicity which they desperately needed.
- Lisa offered to the share information she had learned after many hours on the phone working through the SBA and local banks when the initial stimulus package was rolled out. She and the Shreveport Downtown Development Authority shared updates to dozens of small downtown businesses weekly, telling them who to call, what to ask, how to fill out the PPP paperwork and more. Much of the ‘hands on’ information that proved so useful to many businesses downtown – everything from restaurants and theaters to retail shops- came from Lisa’s unwillingness to be brushed off by the person on the other end of the phone.
Our congratulations to Lisa, Joseph and everyone involved in all their good works!